New threat to family pub

PUBLISHED: 13:16 01 June 2006 | UPDATED: 10:14 06 May 2010

Under threat – the Chells Family Pub

Under threat - the Chells Family Pub

THE FUTURE of a family pub is again under threat after its owners resubmitted plans to build flats on its site. Proposals by BGF Properties Ltd to build a block of eight flats and 12 parking spaces on the site of the Chells Family Pub and Restaurant, in C

THE FUTURE of a family pub is again under threat after its owners resubmitted plans to build flats on its site.

Proposals by BGF Properties Ltd to build a block of eight flats and 12 parking spaces on the site of the Chells Family Pub and Restaurant, in Chells Way, Stevenage, were recently handed in to the borough council.

It comes only months after the council had turned down a previous application to build 19 flats and 22 parking spaces because Hertfordshire County Council, as the highways authority, did not like the access arrangements for vehicles and the number of vehicles involved.

At the time, landlord Leon Messam, who with his wife Jane has transformed the pub into an award winning family venue, said he was very happy with the decision but the future was still undecided.

He said: "It shows all of the work we've done to keep the pub going, and the support of our customers, has been justified. We still don't know the future plans though."

Mr Messam was proved right. If the plans are accepted it will mean the demolition of the pub.

It is expected that the application will go to Stevenage council's planning and development committee this month.

Local county councillor Robin Parker said he is opposed to the plans.

He said: "These would be private flats and therefore sold on the open market and with open market prices. What there is a demand for is affordable housing for people to rent.

"I think that it is now a valuable community resource. There was a time, as The Swan, when it was an eyesore and had a bad local reputation. It's different now and the new landlord has had a big impact.

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